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What’s your niche?

It’s a question that’s not always easy for new side hustlers to answer, but it’s a critical one. If you want to find success in your side hustle, then you must figure out how to answer that question.

Anything can be a niche. Absolutely anything. If you can dream it, you can probably find an audience for it. The kicker is narrowing your niche down to your ideal client, and letting that grow into your audience.

In the old days of blogging, you could call yourself a lifestyle blogger, write about a broad number of subjects and, for the most part, find success relatively quickly. Unfortunately, those days are gone now.

Does the mean blogging is dead? Absolutely not!

It means slogging has changed. You have to tackle blogging and sidle hustling from a different angle. And that’s where a super specific niche comes in.

So, first of all, what even IS a niche?

Define Your Niche: What Is It?

Your niche is the specific area in which you market. It’s your specialization, what you choose to focus on. That thing you can talk about for hours on end and provide tons of value for. The ultimate goal is that when people think of a certain topic, they also think of you and your brand.

For example, my niche is in online education, specifically geared to teaching young women not interested in staying in a traditional 9-5 job that they don’t have to. As someone who can’t stand the idea of being stuck in a traditional 9-5 until the mythical goal of retirement, it’s something I’m passionate about and can talk about a LOT.

And there’s a lot to it, even something so specific. More on that below.

Define Your Niche: The Importance of Specifics

The more specific you get your niche, the better. See, my niche is all about young women in their 20s and teaching them how to go beyond their 9-5 jobs. Not young men, not stay-at-home mothers, not recent retirees. I am very focused on one specific demographic and that thing that I am passionate about teaching them.

That’s important, because it actually helps you to stand out more than if you had a broader niche. There are a lot of niches in blogging that are HEAVILY saturated. Fashion, cooking, makeup, lifestyle are a few. You can sneeze and find someone in any one of those niches just by opening up Pinterest or the search function on Instagram.

People like to say, “the riches are in the niches” and that is something I find to be true.

Look at Excedrin. While writing this post, a commercial for Excedrin came on. The tag line was that Excedrin ONLY focuses on headaches. Not joint pain or inflammation, but headache relief. That is a niche, and that is how Excedrin stands out in a market full of competitors like Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Aleve, and so on.

Like Excedrin, you will stand out much more, the more specific you are.

Define Your Niche: The More Specific You Get, The More You Have To Talk About

Before we go further, let me just tell you that you CAN still be a lifestyle blogger and find success.

I’m not saying that you have to write one thing and one thing only, like coffee or chickens. Maybe you do write just about coffee or just about chickens, that’s cool. You’ll actually have a TON to talk about. In a coffee niche, you can talk about all the different types of coffee and all the places around the world where coffee beans are grown, recipes that include coffee or how to pair certain strengths of coffee with certain meals.

And it’s the same with chickens. You can talk about chicken rearing techniques, ethical chicken rearing, recipes that include chicken, different types of chicken coops, current controversies regarding chickens, and so on.

But if you’re a lifestyle blogger? Well, that’s awesome, because lifestyle means a lot of things to a lot of people. Don’t limit yourself to just one aspect of your topic, but also don’t go too broad. A fashion website probably isn’t going to be writing posts about the next big thing in Kitchen Aid mixers, right? Both topics can be considered under the lifestyle umbrella, but you can see how they don’t really line up. I know that that’s probably not something I’m likely to fit into my website, especially since I’m not exactly that great a cook.

The microwave is my friend, yo.

That’s another story.

Carve out a corner within that lifestyle niche and you’ll really thrive.

Define Your Niche: How To Find It

Now we get to the fun part. I told you why you need to have a niche, now I’m going to teach you how to really figure out what it will be.

Because as much as you may want to say, “Behold, I have a niche!” There’s a very high chance that you can still narrow what you have even further. Get as specific as possible.

And here’s a couple tips on how to do that:

Define Your Niche: Imagine Your Ideal Client

Note that I said client, not clients.

This is the kicker. The ultimate best way to narrow down your niche is to imagine who your ideal client is. Have a very specific vision of that client in your mind. Know absolutely everything about them. Their likes, their dislikes, their schedules, their pain points, what excites them, their goals, every single thing about them.

Now, this may not be an easy task. It may take you some time to come up with that complete vision.

That’s okay.

Sometimes what you think may be your niche turns out to be something completely different, especially once you get down to the nitty gritty of what your ideal client wants.

And here’s another trick to finding your idea client: it’s one client. Not many, just one. When you envision your ideal client, remember that it is just one person. You are looking to change the life of one person, you are writing your content for one person. By doing justice for just one person, you will grow a dedicated audience of people from all over who are just like your one ideal client.

Define Your Niche: What Do You Know A Lot About?

When it comes to identifying your ideal client, you want to be sure you’re imagining someone you can teach. So, what do you know a lot about? What value can you provide another person?

Can you teach someone how to write a novel in 90 days? Do you know how to play guitar? Are you great at cooking allergy-friendly meals? Do you love to travel? Are you an adrenalin junkie? Do you live full-time in an RV? Are you an expert in all things Disney?

Take all that knowledge you have, whether you think it’s useless or not, and think about all the other people out there who are dying to know what you know. And trust me, there is someone out there who is dying to know the best places in the U.S. to get a delicious donut or how to paint with acrylics or how to have better handwriting.

Anyone want to teach me the finer points of penmanship? Holler at your girl.

Define Your Niche: What Are People Googling?

Only have a vague idea of what your niche could be? Know you have to narrow further? That’s okay!

That’s what Google is for.

Think about your niche. For example, imagine you’re an expert on all things social media. But there’s still a lot more you can do with that. Do you have a massive Instagram following? Well if you market yourself as an Insta-Expert, then you will have other budding Insta-Experts flocking to learn all the things you know.

Or are you a WordPress wiz? Trust me, there are a ton of people who are looking to learn about the ins and outs of Guttenberg.

Not only that, but this tip and the next tip will give you a leg up, if you know a lot about the questions everyone is asking. If you can get ahead of the next big thing online, you can turn that into your niche and create an amazing, dedicated audience ready to learn from you.

Define Your Niche: What Are People Pinning?

Google not getting you anywhere? That’s okay, because you have Pinterest too. Pinterest is one of the biggest search engines out there, and is amazing for helping you narrow down your niche.

Like Google, Pinterest has a predictive search function, that lets you search not only what you’re looking for, but what everyone else is looking for. If you’re looking for inspiration for first-time mothers, you’ll also be able to see that first-time mothers are looking for baby names for girls, or how to decorate a gender neutral bedroom.

And when you search, look at those pins that show up right at the top of your feed. Those are the ones Pinterest wants you to see, because they best match your search queries.  It’s the perfect place to narrow down on your niche and who your ideal client could be.

Define Your Niche: Bringing The Lesson Home

Want to reinforce the lesson? Check out the July 3, 2017 episode of Cathy Heller’s Don’t Keep Your Day Job podcast, featuring Nick Loper (How to Grow Your Side Hustle). Not only is the podcast amazing, this entire episode is MASSIVELY informative, especially those last 10 minutes. I highly recommend you check it out!

The Next Steps

Figured out your niche and are ready to start your side hustle?

Now is the perfect time to take my free email course, where I teach you how to plan a year’s worth of blog content in just one day. This training takes away all the mystery behind figuring out what you’re going to write from week to week and helps you plan the ultimate in blogging content that your audience will absolutely love.

Don’t forget to get hosting (plus a free domain) for as little as $3.95/month through Siteground. You can read why I choose Siteground to host my websites in my post, 6 Reasons I Host My Side Hustle On Siteground (And You Should Too).

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